How We Helped A Client Scale From €30,000 To €100,000 Monthly Profit In Just 60 Days Despite Corona And The Whole World Going Crazy…

Before I go into the details, let me take a moment to thank you for being here and reading this. I know you’re a busy individual and I appreciate the time you’re taking to read this case study. I promise you it’s going to be worth it.

You can use this strategy to grow really fast… We’re constantly applying it in multiple accounts and seeing amazing results.

Since it’s going to be lengthy, I’ve divided it into sections:

Before we started working with this digital product brand, they were on track to do €120K in revenue in January and about €30K in profit. After their biggest month in December, results started dropping in January and ad spend was slowing down along with revenue…

Not a good situation right?

It’s true that many brands have their best months in Q4, but what later? Somehow “try to survive” until Q4 next year?

No, that’s not a good strategy.

This brand was experiencing a couple of scaling issues. If you own an ecommerce brand, I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with these…

1. Not being able to spend more than a certain amount and continue getting good results.
2. Huge declines in ROAS when trying to scale.
3. Daily inconsistencies.
4. Too much reliance on Facebook Ads.

So obviously quite a lot of work needed to be done.

We divided it into a couple of parts.

Fundamentals that make or break online brands.

Let’s dive into these!

Scaling Fundamentals:

Video

Video is king these days. There is no denying. Want your ads to stand out? Video. Want to advertise on YouTube? Video. Want to make it easier to sell your product? Video.

We set out to produce a ton of high quality video content for this brand. Not just 3 videos, but dozens of videos. For multiple best-selling and new promising products.

We outlined the key selling points and USP and got to work!

There’s a couple of things we always stick to in every video:

  1. Immediately call out the audience you’re after.
  2. Show something attention grabbing in the first 1-2 seconds, otherwise you may get scrolled past through.
  3. Use big captions to highlight benefits (usually capital letters work best for us).
  4. Highlight social proof (trusted by X customers, 5 star reviews, as seen on)
  5. Give a guarantee (30 days money back etc.)
  6. Invite people to take action at the end.

After testing a couple of different video styles, we found what worked best for this brand.

I do have to say though that our team has spent months perfecting this split test, so we knew exactly what to test and how to set it up.

Videos enabled us to generate DOUBLE the ROAS that image ads did. Talk about profitability with a digital product 😅

Another fundamental piece is ad account structure.

You need to segment your traffic. 

Otherwise things are going to break. You’re never going to get the same costs from cold traffic and warm traffic. 

The key to stability and easy scale? Segmentation and proper exclusions.

Facebook’s algorithm is especially vulnerable to performance fluctuations. Segmentation is what allows you to stabilize.

In the past, this was NOT always necessary on Facebook, and honestly it took us months to realize this. We’re now extremely aware of this because we run a lot of traffic.

So how do you segment traffic?

For ecommerce, we always split everything into 4 stages:

  1. Cold traffic. They’ve probably never heard about you before. They don’t know who you are.
  2. Warm traffic. They’ve engaged with you or visited your website.
  3. Hot traffic. These people added to cart or viewed products very recently.
  4. Your customers. These people you need to treat with special attention. They are the backbone of your business.

Now when it comes to exclusions, we pretty much always exclude website visitors, engagement, and customers from cold traffic. If you don’t, prepare for instability. The right time frames for exclusions vary from brand to brand, but the sweet spot is usually around 30 days.

From warm traffic, we pretty much always exclude customers.

From hot traffic, we sometimes exclude customers and sometimes not. It depends on results. You do want to be retargeting them with dynamic ads, so it’s best to leave a separate ad set just for them.

Existing customers – if you have a huge customer base, you may segment it into 0-30 days since last purchase, 30-60 etc. and use different messaging. Retargeting all customers at the same time also works well.

Having a good account structure allows you to set proper KPIs for every stage of awareness. Then you will know if the 3x ROAS you’re getting on cold is actually cold or not. If you don’t have proper exclusions, you never really know. If you have exclusions, you know exactly when to kill ad sets and ads.

This brings us to automation. Another key to consistent performance. It also makes life easier because automation automatically scales your best ad sets and kills whatever is not making money or meeting your KPIs. It becomes pretty easy to set up automated rules and set KPIs once you spend a decent amount of money on a couple of ad accounts for a few brands.

We run different rules for different stages of awareness. They usually look at today, the last 3 days, and lifetime data. For example, if an ad spends 3x the average CPP and has a lower ROAS than the target for a given stage of the funnel, we will switch it off.

Facebook Ads

I’ve covered a lot of Facebook stuff in the previous section so this one’s going to be shorter.

In order to stabilize this brand’s ad account, we had to restructure it completely. There were too many campaigns running with too many ad sets, which caused performance issues.

When you have too many ad sets and campaigns running, data gets diluted and there’s a small chance that your ad sets will exit the learning phase.

We cut down from 10-15 campaigns to just 5 and consolidated budgets.

Be careful though!

Every time you throw an ad account upside down, it may go from profitable to unprofitable overnight and get worse results for a few days. Doing this requires experience and a gut feeling for Facebook Ads, so if you’re not sure about this, don’t do it yourself.

I know there’s a lot of people hating on CBO, but CBO actually does really well for us… 

With big budgets of several grand per day.

Once we get a feel for which audiences perform best with ad set budgets, we go straight to CBO. All of our retargeting is on CBO. 

For cold traffic, one campaign for scaling is a CBO and has the absolute best audiences and ads. Another one has ad set budgets where we test something all the time.

The moment you stop testing, you’ll see your ROAS going down… That’s why it’s important to keep launching new stuff all the time.  

Test new audiences, test new ads, test copy with creative it hasn’t been tested with yet. 

If you’re running higher budgets then you most probably already know this, but what helps a lot with Facebook Ads performance is social proof. 

There is nothing better than having thousands of likes and comments saying how wonderful your product is.

Google Ads

The 2 most important things we did on Google ads were with YouTube and Google Shopping.

 The structure of the ad account was a bit messy with dozens of very similar search campaigns running. We consolidated them and switched off the ones that weren’t profitable.

Let’s start with Google shopping.

This brand has over 100 products and their feed was really messy. There was no segmentation whatsoever. Just one shopping campaign and one ad group. No division into product groups, price ranges, or target audiences.

We segmented the feed and added a lot of custom data (custom labels and standard columns) to be able to “target” our shopping campaigns more effectively. By “target”, I mean run a specific product set using a specific negative keyword list.

This allowed us to basically double and triple the ad spend on Google shopping in a very profitable way. 

We also added more than 10 countries to test shopping ads in.

YouTube

Before we took over, no ads had been tested on YouTube. We took some best performing videos from Facebook, made a couple of videos specifically for YouTube (16:9), and tested organic content from the brand’s YouTube channel.

Long-format 16:9 videos work really well on YouTube. Especially with narration and a voiceover.

We use YouTube for retargeting and acquisition.

For retargeting, we use bumper ads (4-6 seconds non-skippable video ads) to “remind” people that we’re there and invite them to take action. We’re not really looking to profit on these. They’re there to constantly remind people about the brand. That’s why it’s important NOT to spend too much on these, you don’t want to show people the same ads 20 times a day.

We recently onboarded a client who was advised to use bumper ads for cold traffic. It simply doesn’t work. 6 seconds is not enough time to give someone a good enough reason to click your ad. They won’t even know enough about your brand. Unfortunately, you may not be aware of this if you haven’t run enough campaigns on YouTube.

To make profit, we use conversion campaigns.

We retarget traffic from the site, that is Facebook traffic, Google traffic, organic traffic, people who initiated checkout etc.  

It’s important to monitor campaign breakdowns (demographics etc.) and keep a close eye on devices. For us, desktop traffic performed best. Mobile traffic was a money drain most of the time (though not always).

For acquisition, we use consideration campaigns and conversion campaigns.

In consideration campaigns, we bid for views.

Now YouTube has a cool definition of a view.

It’s either watching your entire video or 30 seconds of it (if the video is longer than 30s) or interacts with your video. These ads are really cheap. You can get views for as little as $0.01 in the U.S. 

Again, we’re not looking for immediate profit from these ads. We buy attention and use a handful of carefully selected videos with lots of value. We want to sell people on the brand.

In conversion campaigns, we use more salesy videos (though 20-minute value videos have also converted for us). Desktop traffic is king again. 

If you’re looking to make profit faster, use placement targeting (specific channels or videos) or keyword targeting. They do get really good ROAS, but the scale is pretty limited.

If you want scale, you need in-market, affinity, or custom affinity audiences.

They’re all very large audience segments (kinda like interests or behaviors on Facebook) and they can get you to a huge scale. They need extremely high quality content though, otherwise you’ll just burn money without results.

I literally can’t stress the importance of having good enough creative here. If you just test the videos you run on Facebook, there’s a big chance you will burn through a lot of money on YouTube with zero results.

YouTube ads will also bump up your search campaigns. Because about 80% of YouTube users will open a new tab and google your brand name or enter your domain name, you will also see an increase in organic and direct traffic.

Search

On search, we moved all brand related keywords to a new campaign, and properly segmented everything else.

Basically separate campaigns for different types of keywords, different stages of awareness, and different products.

It may sound complicated (you may have a lot of campaigns depending on the number of products you have), but this is one of the best ways to get results.

Showing highly relevant search ads is what makes PPC work.

For this brand, we show people different ads with relevant products depending on what they search for.

As an example, if this was a shoe brand and someone was searching for black sneakers, we would show them black leather sneakers, black suede sneakers etc.

Display

We use display mostly to retarget people with dynamic ads. This works extremely well if your technical setup is correct (which may be a bit tricky to implement).

We have a couple of campaigns that retarget people with different frequency depending on when they visited the site and what they did (viewed products / added to cart / initiated checkout).

Display is also a great way to get people into the top of your funnel. We give away free downloadable products that people get in exchange for their email. These campaigns are very stable, continue giving us high quality emails at a low cost. They are then converted via email or buy themselves when we hit them with a different ad or when they decide the product is awesome.

Product Launch Strategy

We used this strategy to bring in close to €100,000 in revenue for this brand and as much as €36,400 in a single day.

Here’s an overview:

  1. When a new product is announced, we launch an early access / waiting list that people can opt into to get notified when the product is released.
  2. This announcement is sent via email to everyone on the list and we use it to drive traffic via FB & Google to get people to sign up. It’s used both for cold and warm traffic.
  3. The people on the list continue getting new updates about the product, it’s benefits, features etc. We basically tease the product and build up excitement. They also get lots of free value.
  4. On the release day, everyone on the waiting list and everyone from the newsletter gets an email with the link. People from the waiting list may get additional bonuses or a special deal. The waiting list is also constantly retargeted with ads.

When you do it right, a waiting list will increase your conversion rates and AOV.

Scaling

Okay so now that I have all the foundations in place, how do I scale?

We have found that an extremely flexible approach to budget works best.

When you have a good day (and you will have good days if you follow my advice from above), push HARD. Ramp up the ad spend multiple times a day. 

Don’t do 20% a day. Do 20% once, then wait a few hours, give it another 20%, then wait another few hours, then give it another 20%!

This way you can increase ad spend by a lot in a single day.

I must warn you though, if you don’t have enough conversion data in your ad sets or campaigns, ramping them up is going to mess things up. Don’t scale if there aren’t enough sales per ad set.

On Facebook, moving the best ad sets and ads to a CBO also works great. Be careful though, if you move bad performing ad sets and ads into a CBO, it’s not magically going to *fix* the issue. This isn’t 2016 anymore, you can’t fix poor creative with a 5x manual bid.

When you have bad days, cut budgets. Many times a day if you need to. Automation is going to be your best friend when it comes to scaling.

On Google Ads, the rules of the game are slightly different.

Google’s attribution usually takes a bit more time to process your data and attribute conversions. When ramping up or cutting Google spend, don’t look at just today (I personally use this time frame very rarely).

Look at the past 3 days and the past 7 days. If your conversion lag is really short, look at yesterday.

Different rules apply for search, display, shopping, and video.

You might hear different recommendations from others, but here’s what works for us:

  • On search, your biggest issue is most likely going to be your ad rank not your budgets. If you want to scale search, improve your ad rank (which comes down to relevance and landing page experience).
  • On shopping, the best way to scale is optimizing your feed, product titles and images.
  • On display retargeting, scale by improving your feed and traffic segmentation.
  • On cold display (which we pretty much only use for lead gen), scale by just increasing the budgets in target CPA campaigns.
    With lead CPAs between $0.50-$5 (depending on the type of lead magnet you use), target CPA will give you good stability. Make sure you target the right countries and demographics though.
  • On YouTube, the way to scale is to increase budgets bit by bit on existing campaigns and adding new campaigns that target colder and colder audiences (you will need extremely high quality creative).

Thank you so much for reading this far. I truly appreciate your time and I hope you found this case study useful. I will be forever grateful if you share this with other people who might find it valuable.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected]. I will be happy to help.

Do you own an ecommerce brand doing over $100k/month and are looking for a trusted marketing partner to take you to the next level?
Shoot me an email at [email protected] Would love to chat with you.

Cheers to your continued scale and profitability,

Tomasz